May 07, 2015
Insurance, by definition, is a contract between you and the insurance company. The contract stipulates that as long as you pay the premium, the insurance company agrees to pay for your covered losses if you experience an accident, theft or vandalism, or your car is damaged by certain causes. The amount you receive in compensation is based on several factors, including your deductible and the limit you choose for your policy.
What Does Auto Insurance Cover?
There are several categories of auto insurance, each of which covers a different aspect of your risk as a driver. Here is a brief overview of these types of coverage:
•Liability: If you are deemed at fault in a car accident, liability coverage will pay for repairs, medical costs for injuries suffered by others in the vehicle, plus other expenses related to the accident such as legal fees. Your liability limits are set at the time you purchase your policy. There are two parts to liability coverage: Bodily injury liability and property damage liability. The limits are the maximum amount the policy will pay out; anything above that would come out of your pocket unless you have other insurance.
•Collision: If you hit another vehicle or an object (like a guardrail), your collision coverage will pay for damages or repairs to your vehicle after you pay a deductible (up-front amount). In other words, if you have collision coverage with a $500 deductible and you suffer damage that costs $1,500, your collision coverage will pay $1000 after you pay the first $500.
•Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage, which is also known as "other than collision," pays for losses to your vehicle if it suffers damage from something other than an accident. For example, if a tree falls on your car or you hit a deer while driving, some portion of that loss will be covered if you have comprehensive coverage. Like collision, comprehensive has a deductible attached to it.
•Medical Expenses: This coverage pays for injuries that you, a family member or anyone else riding your vehicle may suffer in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also pays for injuries you or your family members may incur while riding in other vehicles.
•Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This coverage pays for injuries and property damage you suffer in an accident when the driver at fault either is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and damage. It will also cover you in the event that a hit-and-run driver flees the scene and you cannot file a claim against that driver’s insurance company.
•Roadside Assistance: Many insurance companies offer this optional coverage. If you need a tow or service for a flat tire or dead battery, roadside assistance will provide that service for a nominal premium.
•Rental Reimbursement: If your car is in the shop for several days and you need a vehicle, this coverage will provide that for you for a nominal premium.